Tiago Monteiro scores emotional home win

Tiago Monteiro scores emotional home win

07.07.2019: FIA WTCR Race of Portugal: Race 3 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019 Rounds 16-18 of 30, Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, 5-7 July Sunday, July 7th 2019 Tiago Monteiro scorched to a dream home victory at WTCR Race


FIA WTCR Race of Portugal: Race 3
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 16-18 of 30, Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, 5-7 July
Sunday, July 7th 2019





Tiago Monteiro scorched to a dream home victory at WTCR Race of Portugal after seeing off a challenge from Yvan Muller in Race 3 in Vila Real. The KCMG driver, who has returned to racing this year after coming back from serious injuries incurred in a testing accident in 2017, was in tears on his slowing down lap after becoming the 11th different winner of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO season.




KCMG team-mate Attila Tassi led away from the DHL Pole Position, with Monteiro slotting in behind him as Muller passed his nephew Yann Ehrlacher on lap one to lead the Lynk & Co-powered challenge behind the two Hondas.



Tassi lost his lead on lap four when he began to slow, the 20-year-old eventually pulling in to retire. Muller played his ‘joker’ lap having just passed Tassi, with Monteiro following suit a lap later. The Honda just emerged ahead of the Lynk & Co, but it was close. From there, Monteiro pulled a gap to secure a dream victory in front of a joyful Portuguese crowd.



As Muller fell back from the leader, Ehrlacher closed up, the pair both coming under pressure from Race 2 winner Mikel Azcona in his PWR Racing CUPRA TCR. It seemed Muller was holding up the pair, but he held on to lead home a Lynk & Co two-three, with Azcona capping a great first weekend in Vila Real with a fourth to go with his earlier win.



Jean-Karl Vernay beat Rob Huff in a race-long duel for fifth, the Audi having beaten the Volkswagen off the grid.



Néstor Girolami claimed seventh for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, but his team-mate Esteban Guerrieri was out of luck. The WTCR / OSCARO leader was forced out after a first-lap collision with BRC Hyundai driver Nicky Catsburg, denting his advantage at the top of the table.



Thed Björk added to Lynk & Co’s haul with eighth, ahead of Ma Qinghua who just held off Race 1 winner and Guerrieri’s closest title rival Norbert Michelisz.



The other points finishers were led by Johan Kristoffersson in P11, from Aurélien Panis, Kevin Ceccon – paying back Team Mulsanne for repairing his Alfa Romeo after his big qualifying accident on Sunday morning – Mehdi Bennani and Gabriele Tarquini.



There was bad luck for Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch, who retired from P11 with a suspension failure with just two laps to run.






Richard Rodgers, photos WTCR

     



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07.07.2019 / MaP

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